The world champion, who lives a contrasting season at Chelsea, has fun every Thursday night in the European Cup.
You can be world champion, have experienced ecstasy last July and find yourself forced to get off only on Thursday nights of the week. In a few words, this is Olivier Giroud's daily since the beginning of the season in Chelsea. At 32, the striker of the Blues undoubtedly lives one of his most delicate seasons since his advent at the high level. But rather than sulking or revealing a bad state of mind, the former protégé of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal gnawing his brakes. Patient in the shadows. And take advantage of the Europa League to expose yourself. As was the case again on Thursday night when the Londoners qualified for the semi-finals of the competition with a new goal of Isérois against Slavia Prague (4-3). His 10e in 11 matches. Not bad for an element that waxes the bench this season.
Two players have scored 10 goals in the European Cup this season, he and Lionel Messi
If some will advance – with a bit of bad faith and bias when it comes to evoke the situation of Olivier Giroud – that slam ten goals against Kiev, Malmö, Salonika or BATE Borisov n ' nothing of an exploit, the performance of the French deserves to be greeted. With this total of achievements, the former Tourangeau is the only one with Lionel Messi (in C1) to cross this bar of ten goals on the European scene this season. Other statistics? Another scorer and passer against Slavia Prague, Olivier Giroud is decisive every 77 minutes in the Europa League this season. He also equaled the record for the number of goals scored by a Frenchman in a European exercise held by the historical Just Fontaine (10 goals in 1958/1959) and Nestor Combin (1963/1964). Not to mention that he is the first player in Chelsea history to score so much in this competition.
At 32, he is targeting the Euro with the Blues and play time next year … In Chelsea or elsewhere
Despite these eloquent figures and a state of mind leading every European night, the former Montpellier should not see his situation evolve in the Premier League by the end of the season. With only 24 games played, 7 starts, 803 minutes on the clock and 2 goals in the league, the world champion is not among the top picks of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian technician prefers Eden Hazard position number 9 or even Gonzalo Higuain, arrived this winter for a contribution more than limited (3 goals). "Believe me, I'm very frustrated when I'm not on the field but I do not want to show it," said the principal on Wednesday before challenging Prague. I'm not happy to play the supporting role and that's why I said next season that I will need to play a bigger role in the team. "One way to put pressure on its leaders. In a limpid way.
The question will arise in any case next June. At the end of the contract, former Tourangeau is known and desired by many teams for the next transfer window. His atypical profile, his experience, the meager cost of his transfer and his willingness to evolve at the highest level in terms of the Euro, make him a rare and valuable player. Questioned in the columns of Figaro on the subject last January, Jean-Michel Aulas and OL are among the courtiers. "I had dreamed of bringing him in during the summer and things could not be done, of his fact. In the summer, it's sure that Giroud will interest me. I like the boy. He is a good person. "Aware that at 32, time is running out, the 3e top scorer in the history of the Blues will not be satisfied with a season at the end of the bench next year. Exit to exile from a country he likes to return to France or discover another championship. The options remain. In the meantime, a Europa League semifinal is waiting for him against Frankfurt (2 and 9 May). Where his goals counter could still evolve.